Your bank charges may soon be sharply increasing if you bank with Bank of America, Barclays, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, J P Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC or UBS.
These are the thirteen banks that are being probed by the European Commission, which has charged them all with acting to stop two big exchanges, Germany’s Deutche Borse and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, from entering the trillion pound Credit Default Swap market during the period 2006-2009, in breach of European anti-trust regulations. Credit Default Swaps are a type of bet on the credit of a country or company and played a significant part in the financial crisis that damaged the economies of so many countries. Also being investigated is the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, which has a large number of banks in its membership.
A clever sting operation aimed at exposing the grubby world of celebrity endorsement for the Channel 4 Dispatches programme scored a bullseye recently, persuading a bunch of bit players from the TV soap Coronation Street to plug fake products to their fan base on social networking sites in exchange for free samples.
The actors were unaware that the products, which included “anti-ageing skin toner using water from a mountain well in Bali” and an “energising bracelet blessed by Buddhist monks” were fake, though any with a grasp of European languages might have spotted that the name of the company giving them the freebies for the plugs on Twitter, “Puttana Aziendale” was Italian for corporate whore. Advertising Standards Authority guidelines for products plugged for payment on social networking sites state that they should not misleadingly masquerade as honest endorsements, these days a contradiction in terms perhaps, but should be flagged as advertising.
Meanwhile the ethics of some senior MPs, as well as lobbyists, have been called into question following another sting operation, this time by the Panorama team, in which the MPs were asked to represent Fiji to Parliament for payments.
Fiji was excluded from the Commonwealth in 2009 over its human rights record, but this didn’t stop Conservative MP for Newark, Patrick Mercer from agreeing to champion the lifting of their suspension for a four figure sum. Once exposed Mercer resigned.
A survey amongst parents and children by Colgate into what makes us smile could be of interest to marketeers.
|1. Playing with friends
||1. My children
|2. Birthday parties
||2. Kisses from my children
||3. Sunny weather
||5. Playing games with children
|6. Kisses from Mum/Dad
||7. Going away for weekend
|8. A new toy
||8. Romantic time with partner
|9. Funny faces
||9. Winning money on lottery
|10. Pocket money
||10. Spending time with friends
Two members of a call-centre group, Swansea-based Save Britain Money have been fined a total of £225,000 by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for failing to adequately check that numbers they were dialling were registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), a legal requirement. The fines follow more than 2,700 complaints about the group to the ICO and TPS in a 20-month period.
Nationwide Energy Services, which sells replacement boilers was fined £125,000, and We Claim, You Gain, which sells PPI claims services was fined £100,000. Both companies have said they will appeal.
Following serious fires started by the floating and lit Chinese lanterns used in advertising for HSBC and Absout vodka a number of calls have been made for their restriction or banning on safety grounds.
CCTV footage recently showed a lantern landing on stacks of plastic recycling material at a factory in Smethwick and setting it alight within eight minutes, a major blaze involving 200 fire-fighters and 35 fire engines.
News that pub-group J.D Wetherspoon have just secured council and police approval for a £2 million pub and restaurant at Junction 2 on the M40 has been met with dismay by drink-driving campaigners, who are describing as ” a disaster waiting to happen”.
Alcohol will be available from 8.00am to 1.00am, seven days a week, and Wetherspoon chairman and respected marketeer Tim Martin has responded to the criticism by pointing out the alcohol is available from service station supermarkets, and that anyway he is catering for the non-drivers stopping for food and drink. Cartoonists have depicted drinkers at Wetherspoons asking “One for the extremely dangerous, fast road?
The case of a shopper complaining that she was refused service at a Sainsbury’s checkout until she stopped using her mobile phone has turned into a PR disaster for the supermarket after it apologised for the actions of its check-out employee and awarded the complainant £10 worth of vouchers.
Most of the comments posted on newspaper web-sites have supported Sainsbury’s employee and wondered why Sainsbury’s couldn’t find the backbone to do the same against what most see as the shopper’s ill-mannered actions, and others put down to the ignorance of the self-important. Sainsbury’s head of customer services Ray Biggs says that his employer backed down because they want to please everybody, even the socially retarded it seems, but are glad that others are taking the stand that Sainsbury’s feel it would be commercially unwise to do.
BANKS FACE HUGE NEW FINES Your bank charges may soon be sharply increasing if you bank with Bank of America, Barclays, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Citibank…
CELEBRITY PROSTITUTION ON INCREASE A clever sting operation aimed at exposing the grubby world of celebrity endorsement for the Channel 4 Dispatches…
DROWNING IN THE SWAMP Meanwhile the ethics of some senior MPs, as well as lobbyists, have been called into question following another sting operation, this time…
HAPPY TRIGGERS A survey amongst parents and children by Colgate into what makes us smile could be of interest to marketeers.
SCOURGE FIRMS FINED Two members of a call-centre group, Swansea-based Save Britain Money have been fined a total of £225,000 by the Information Commissioners…
BAN CALLED ON CHINESE LANTERNS Following serious fires started by the floating and lit Chinese lanterns used in advertising for HSBC and Absout vodka a number of…
ONE FOR THE ROAD, AT WETHERSPOON News that pub-group J.D Wetherspoon have just secured council and police approval for a £2 million pub and restaurant at…
AND FINALLY….. The case of a shopper complaining that she was refused service at a Sainsbury’s checkout until she stopped using her mobile phone has turned into a PR…
AIRLINE FORCED TO PAY COMPENSATION Charter airline Monarch is the first to be legally forced to pay compensation, under new guidelines laid down by the European …
GO KARTING LESSONS An incident at the Go Karting experience organised for organisers attending the recent successful Big Sleepover in Leeds run by the Leeds …
DONT GET UP The dangers of not being strapped in when turbulence hits aircraft were well illustrated when a recent Singapore Airlines flight to London suddenly dropped 65 …
STARWOOD SUED FOR PROSTITUTE ATTACK Hotel group Starwood are being sued by a female guest at their upscale W South Beach hotel in Miami who is alleging that …
EXPANSION FOR EVENTS AT HISTORIC COUNTRY HOUSE A luxury carpeted and chandeliered marquee, accommodating up to 300 guests and incorporating a bar …
FuertEVENTura Around 20 organisers of overseas events, mostly agencies and half of them from the UK, networked with a similar number of suppliers on Fuerteventura at …
BIG NEW ONE IN LEEDS The new Arena building in Leeds, open this year and sponsored by a bank, will please organisers and promoters looking for somewhere to …
FIVE-STAR BENIDORM Given Benidorm’s reputation in some quarters for pandering exclusively to the lower end of the yob market it will be easy for some readers to see …
MORE BENIDORM Whilst in Benidorm we were shown around some other hotels which could host conferences there…
RIP OFF BENIDORM? It is sad but true that a bad experience with a taxi-driver can taint an otherwise good experience at a destination…
MORE HOTEL GRIPES Two more readers responded to our Hotel Gripes Survey as follows…